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SAHS alum speaks to students about business process for new product

Posted on: January 7, 2018

South Albany High School graduate Mike Perry and his wife Amy own a growing business. Snoofy Bee is a portable diaper-changing station that restricts baby’s hands during the changing process. The couple started the business from scratch after they had their second child.

South Albany seniors the heard whole experience, from idea to production during the required senior economics class, taught by Andy Winn. The couple also shared their experiences raising funds for the business, which included an appearance last November on Shark Tank, and marketing, which included a product demonstration and interview on the Steve Harvey Show.

Students were allowed to ask questions during the Perry’s presentation. The couple shared their lessons about what worked and what didn’t as they built a business that started with an idea and is now a growing business with manufacturers in China and sales from retail outlets and online merchants.

The lessons included how to proceed despite the naysayers; starting a new business while working – Mike was employed as a janitor when Snoofy Bee began; pursuing a patent; managing inventory – initially in their home; and finding reputable manufacturers that produce high-quality products.

One of the main lessons students learned is that starting a business is difficult but possible. “Starting a company is really hard and most people fail,” said Mike. “It takes a lot of work to do something out of the norm, but it is totally doable.”

Read more about the Perry’s presentation at South Albany High School in the Democrat-Herald. 

Anti-bullying Task Force to hold two community forums, develop call to action

Posted on: January 5, 2018

A new Anti-Bullying, Anti-Harassment Task Force will meet in two community forums at the end of January and beginning of February to develop a plan to reduce behaviors that negatively impact our community and our schools.

The goal is to generate a community-based “call to action” in response to our common concerns related to these issues. The task force leaders include South Shore Principal Kraig Sproles, Calapooia Middle School Principal Gina Ayers, Albany Options Principal John Hunter, and District Human Resources Administrator Rich Sipe.

The purpose of the forums will be twofold.  First, we will work together to formulate an understanding of the scope and nature of bullying and harassment in our community, and second, we will develop a community “Call to Action” in response. This plan will be presented to the school Board for their review and consideration in March.

The community is invited to attend the two community forums.

  • The first forum will be on Wednesday, Jan. 24 at 6 p.m. at Albany Options School, 701 SE 19th Avenue (across the street from Sunrise Elementary School).
  • The second forum will be on Wednesday, Feb. 7, at 6 p.m. at Albany Options School.

Each meeting is expected to last about 90 minutes.

Several community partners will be represented at the forums, including the Albany Police Department, Linn County Sheriff’s Office, Linn County Mental Health, the City of Albany, FACT, Albany Boys and Girls Club, CAP, local faith community, and the YMCA.

Greater Albany seniors attend youth job fair at LBCC

Posted on: December 15, 2017

The 30th annual Albany Chamber of Commerce Youth Job Fair brought more than 1,300 high school seniors, including all seniors at Albany Options School, South Albany and West Albany high schools, to Linn Benton Community College this week.

GAPS sends all high school seniors every year to complete students’ career education requirement for graduation.

High school teachers say it reinforces the messages that students learn about work and careers and it provides an opportunity to practice in a low-risk environment. “Students learn the routine of seeking and pursuing a job and preparing to apply and interview,” said SAHS teacher Denee Newton. “It validates what we’ve told them.”

“During the interviews, they are learning that they will be judged on how they present themselves,” said SAHS teacher Katie Gisler. “Your appearance matters.”

“The students had an incredible time and came back to school feeling inspired and excited for their futures,” said AOS counselor Anna Harryman. “Many Juniors commented to me the following day about how they’re looking forward to the event next year after hearing their peers talk about it.”

The event offers students who will soon be entering the workforce or pursuing career training an opportunity to learn more about careers and practice job seeking skills.

Students cycle through three sessions: a resource fair that includes industry representatives who can answer questions and set up application interviews, an inspirational speaker, and mock interviews that allow students to practice interview skills. Each student can interview twice. Interviews are conducted by 250 volunteers. Some interviewees offer jobs to students during this mock interview process.

The event is part of the Chamber’s Pipeline to Jobs project to help students find meaningful work and employers find qualified workers. It is billed as a community program to provide career guidance to our most important resource – the youth of Linn and Benton counties.

“It is a huge collaborative effort, and the community is so supportive,” said Josefine Fleetwood, executive director of the Pipeline Project. “We couldn’t provide the extensive opportunities we provide without support from employers.

Albany Options also contributed community service time to the event. The 34 students who attended stayed after the event to take down all of the tables and chairs as well as clean up the whole gymnasium where the mock interviews were held.

Albany High School seniors attend Youth Job Fair.
Albany High School seniors attend Youth Job Fair.
Albany High School seniors attend Youth Job Fair.
Albany High School seniors attend Youth Job Fair.
Albany High School seniors attend Youth Job Fair.

Albany High School seniors attend Youth Job Fair.

Albany High School seniors attend Youth Job Fair.

Albany High School seniors attend Youth Job Fair.

Albany High School seniors attend Youth Job Fair.

Albany High School seniors attend Youth Job Fair.

Albany High School seniors attend Youth Job Fair.

Albany High School seniors attend Youth Job Fair.

Albany High School seniors attend Youth Job Fair.

Albany High School seniors attend Youth Job Fair.

SAHS leadership students share their children’s books with Oak students

Posted on: December 4, 2017

South Albany High School leadership students created their own children’s stories and recently shared them with Oak Elementary School students.

The class is taught by Andy Winn, who said, “The purpose is to teach a moral or principle through the story. ” Each high school student read their book to small groups of kindergarten, first and second graders.

“It was a great experience, and the young students loved it,” said Winn.

Albany Public Schools Foundation funds more than $37,000 in classroom grants

Posted on: November 28, 2017

Albany Public Schools Foundation announced classroom grant awards for 67 projects, totaling $37,683. The annual awards provide funds to enhance classroom projects and educational experiences.

APSF raises money every year to support GAPS schools through the annual iSwim, iRun and iCelebrate Gala fundraisers.

Any teacher in the district can apply for a classroom grant. This year, there were 79 proposals for projects including electronics, robotics, art, reading music and PE.

See the list of grant awards. 
Read more about Albany Public Schools Foundation.

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